Last night we showed our neighboring cities exactly what Bike Party is all about. 1,600 people came out last night, impressive given the distance from San Jose and the length of the ride. A lot of us ended up riding well over 50 miles to participate in our adventure to Stanford! For many, this was brand new territory, and that’s part of what this ride’s all about: exploring the communities we live in to better appreciate them. Getting lost in Stanford turned out to be so much fun as we figured out how to get back on track together.
Just like every month, we came together to celebrate community, and we excelled in so many ways. We rode on busy streets but kept lanes open to share the road with others. Riders were sober. Most were well lit. Traffic lights were respected. We left little behind, other than smiles and bewilderment on the faces of drivers and bystanders. Motorists delayed by us were patient and some even seemed caught up in the festivities as they, too, chanted “Bike Party,” from their slowed vehicles. Our goal for the night was to spread the Bike Party love to other places, and we were more than a success.
We want to give a super shout-out to the police departments of Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Stanford. You guys and gals were incredible in the way you helped us move through your cities so peacefully. You kept everyone safe, bicyclists and motorists alike. We had many great interactions with you, from small conversations on street corners and regroups, to friendly smiles and waves, to traffic control. While we work hard at self-policing and do a pretty darn good job, it was nice to have a few intersections blocked to keep us all together.
To quote a motorcycle officer in Palo Alto, “you (Bike Party) all did a helluva job, you should be congratulated… and proud of what you’re able to do!” Given the funding situations for many police departments in the South Bay, your gestures are appreciated even more.
As always, there’s room for us to improve. Many stepped up last night to help with turns and regroups, and in these places it really showed. In other places, where volunteers were smaller in number, things weren’t as smooth. Anyone who was around for regroup #3 and saw the cluster of bikes spilling out onto El Camino knows what I’m talking about. It’s also good to be courteous. Yes, we do have the right-of-way in many places, but it’s still nice to stop and let a waiting car go. We’re getting decent at this, but we can still get better.
We left a largely positive impact on these communities last night. Please share your experiences here.